Many people think Luther’s Small Catechism is just for the pastor, just a tool the pastor uses to teach confirmation. In truth, the Small Catechism is for every Christian but foremostly for “the head of the family” to teach their children. If the household does not have a father then the Small Catechism is to be used by whoever is the head of the household to teach their children and others in the household. If the father is not a Christian or refuses to teach his children the ways of the Lord, then the teaching task falls to mom or other family whom God has given to the children.
The Small Catechism is just that, small. Catechism means teaching, and the Small Catechism encapsulates the basic teaching of Christianity. It is always trying to answer the question "What does this mean?" The first three chief parts of the catechism are found throughout Christendom, even before Luther, namely, the 10 commandments, the Apostles' Creed, and the Lord's Prayer. These are familiar to most Christians even if they are not Lutheran. Of course, Luther also includes his explanations to open up the full and rich meaning of these words. The last three chief parts are perhaps more uniquely Lutheran, but are drawn solely from the Bible. These are the doctrines of baptism, confession and absolution, and the sacrament of the altar. In a sense, the first three chief parts teach the basics of the Christian faith, and the remaining parts describe the Christian life in that faith.
Every Sunday, we read a portion of the catechism during the Divine Service. This should be review for most of us who had to memorize the catechism at one point (albeit, likely with slightly different words!). I would encourage you to also read parts of it yourself during the week, with your children and grandchildren of course, but also to yourself as part of your devotions. A great place to start is to get in the habit of praying Luther's morning and evening prayers each day and of course the Lord's prayer. Then you can recite the Creed and the 10 commandments. Then add on reading some of Luther's explanations and the remaining three chief parts. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can review the synodical explanations in the back of the catechism book. Meditating on the catechism only reinforces our own understanding of the faith, but it also gives us words we can use to answer others who have questions about what Christians believe.